Our Lady of Mercy School shares the Christmas spirit
WINSTON-SALEM — Giving has been the goal for the holiday season at Our Lady of Mercy School in Winston-Salem. The Helping Hands of Mercy (HHM) group coordinated several holiday outreach projects for the school to take part in. This school-wide service organization, led by middle school students, plans and organizes outreach efforts to help others, especially other children.
On Nov. 17, the fourth- through eighth-graders gathered at the Habitat for Humanity warehouse in Winston-Salem to assemble several hundred luminary kits that the Ronald McDonald House sells through their Light A Luminary Project. These kits are a major fundraiser for the Winston-Salem Ronald McDonald House. Each kit is sold for $7 and contains 6sixbags, six votive candles and sand. Ronald McDonald House asks those who purchase the kits to light them on Christmas Eve in honor of the families who stay at the home. Mercy students help with this project every year.
The HHM group also coordinated a collection of Christmas gifts for Exchange/Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN). This organization offers both prevention programs for those at risk and treatment programs for those dealing with child abuse. Each year, Exchange/SCAN of Forsyth County puts on a Christmas party for the families they serve at SciWorks.
"The gifts Mercy collected will be given to the children of these families, who in many cases, wouldn't otherwise receive a Christmas gift," said Nancy Robinson, the coordinator of the program for SCAN. She spoke to the HHM group to thank them for their efforts.
Some students did extra chores around the house or decided to give up one of their gifts to donate one to SCAN. In total, OLM collected 145 gifts for children from birth to 14.
Another project was a "Penny War." During the school's Scholastic book fair, the middle school students completed to see which class could raise the most money in coins. Only silver coinage was counted and pennies were deducted from the total, so classes "fought" by putting pennies in another class' jar. The seventh grade won with a total of $296.23 and received a pajama party as the reward. In total, $500 was raised in the four days of the fair. With the match that Scholastic makes, this was enough to donate 57 books to the Marine Corp Toys for Tots Literacy Campaign.
Last but not least, both the HHM and Our Lady of Mercy Parish confirmation students worked together to collect coats along with clothing and blankets for Project Hope, a project run by Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools that helps students and their families who are homeless. There were piles of bags and boxes donated that the confirmation students helped sort.
"There are so many people who need help in our community and our families at Mercy are so very generous," said Lara Davenport, director of advancement for OLM. "Helping our students share with others is an important part of their education. True leaders are servants, as Jesus Himself showed us, and we work to integrate that lesson as part of our everyday lives here at Our Lady of Mercy."
— Lara Davenport
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy